Ian Hitre

Creative Director

Ian joined Vanilla Video after getting his start in marketing. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Ian has a BFA in Advertising, has worked in market research, flown solo as a freelance videographer and spent time in the ad agency world as a copywriter, videographer, photographer and member of a senior creative team.

"For a long time I wanted to be a writer. But somewhere along the road I became more drawn to visual storytelling. I put down the pen, picked up the camera fulltime and have been driving forward ever since.”

Ian’s passion lies behind the camera. He enjoys filming interview pieces, candid and environmental b-roll and setting up/directing scenes to add a more cinematic quality to shooting and editing. He also likes to spend his time concepting, filming and directing music videos with like-minded artists.

When he’s not behind the camera or sifting through footage, Ian tends to be in research mode.

"I spend an embarrassing amount of time reading up on new lenses, camera bodies, equipment, software, rumors, etc. I have this nagging curiosity to see what comes next.”

In his free time, Ian devours media whole. You can often find him flipping through the pages of a graphic novel, getting lost in a videogame or binge watching television series for days on end. Some of his favorite movies include Terminator 2, Pulp Fiction, half of the "Star Trek” movies (II,III,IV,VI and the 2009 reboot), Unbreakable and the Back To The Future trilogy. He also enjoys listening to and watching stand up comedy and has even performed his own half-hour set. Though at this point, Ian is leaving comedy to the professionals.

Not surprisingly, one of Ian’s best memories was crafting a music video.

"My best friend produced a remix to Prince’s When Doves Cry. We were just going to do a quick, 80’s inspired photoshoot but somehow it turned into a 2 month production with storyboarding, shot lists, multiple locations and dance performances. We released the video on YouTube for the 30th anniversary of "Purple Rain” and reached 10,000 views before Prince’s record company made us take it down.”

When it comes to travel, one of Ian’s favorite experiences was a shoot in New York just after Hurricane Sandy. He arrived a day before the rest of the crew, got completely lost in the city and spent the next two days photographing and shooting video throughout the streets of Manhattan.

"It was a weird time to film; scaffolding everywhere, big trucks pumping water out of almost every high-rise, historic buildings recovering from flood, water and wind damage. It wasn’t exactly how I envisioned my first trip to New York. The aftermath made for a tough shoot but overall it was a rewarding experience.”

Ian has a pretty broad pallet, but some of his favorite foods include Mediterranean food, sushi, drowning most entrees in hot sauce, avocado everything and pizza. Pizza is an all the time food. And even though Ian is a few years into a meat free diet, he misses bacon and Italian beef on an almost daily basis.

When it comes to Vanilla Video, Ian is most excited about growing the Pro line of video offerings.

"Frank and I met when we were much younger and put some video projects together. Nothing special by our standards today. But it laid the groundwork for both of our careers in video production. I've watched from a distance as Vanilla Video has grown. I’m excited to be a part of the team and to see how we can evolve from here.”